What was I thinking?

4 months ago it seemed doable. 4 months ago it seemed like it was something God was leading me to do.

Now, it’s 4 days away and I’ve gone through every kind of emotion you can think of — paranoid, excited, scared, doubtful, nervous, ready to back out. What was I thinking? Was I even thinking? Did I hear God right?

On Saturday, May 8th, the men of our church are going to be serving the ladies a dinner. They were looking for some ladies in our church to speak. I … gulp … volunteered.

I’ve had a message on my heart to share for a few years. I didn’t know how God was going to lead me to share it or when He was going to lead me to share it — and right now I’m thinking I would’ve been happy if He’d waited a few more years before He prompted me to do this.

4 months ago I had visions of quiet Bible study time every day … journaling … praying … spending just every waking moment with God and soaking up His words to share for Saturday. Now, 4 days away I’m feeling like an utter failure for not having done much of any of that.

I would like to ask you to pray for me. Pray for me to prepare my message as best as I can between now and then … and pray for God to take over when I get there. Pray for the ladies who are there, especially if there’s one who hasn’t accepted Jesus as their Savior yet. Because that’s what all this is for — reaching that one lady.

If you’re local to me, you are more than welcome to come to the dinner. Let me know you’re coming so I can add to our list. There’s no cost. Childcare’s provided. Free food and you get to come listen to me ramble. Oh, and Duck’s group is providing the music so you get to listen to him sing too! Can’t beat that :)

I need some ideas …

for a women’s dinner at my church. As you may know, I don’t cook. I don’t do that whole hospitality thing well either. And those cutesy little gifts? I got nothing. But I have a heart for women’s ministry. I have a heart for women who are hurting — and we all are at some point in our lives. Either going into hurt, smack-dab in the middle of it, or coming out the other side of it.

One of the men at my church asked Duck if his group would play music at this dinner. He wants the men to cook and serve the ladies dinner. He wants this to be an outreach — evangelical — for ladies to invite unsaved friends. Duck told him that I have a heart for women’s ministry and that I might have some ideas for a speaker or two.

Side note: Can I just say it was kinda weird hearing from this man that Duck said I have a heart for women’s ministry? Why? You may ask? Well, it’s not something that I’ve ever really talked about with Duck. I mean it’s stuff I’ve spouted here. Maybe he’s heard me talking with someone else. But it’s not something that he and I have ever discussed. It was kind of validating in a sense that yes, I do have a heart for women’s ministry and should use my talents and gifts in that.

Back to needing ideas: Basically I need ideas from you. I know ya’ll are a crafty, creative bunch. And even if you yourself don’t have any ideas, maybe you can share a website or two where you get ideas from? I’m looking for anything from a theme to decorations ideas to gift ideas. You know — any of those little things that women typically enjoy. Have you been to anything like this? What did you enjoy? What was not so great?

If you don’t mind, I’d appreciate a lot of prayer for this also. I feel led to speak … as in get up in front of a group of ladies and share a story … and that makes my stomach do flops. Seriously? There’s no delete button in speaking. There’s no rereading and editing in speaking. One shot. Can I be interesting? Will I say the right words? I’ve been praying for awhile that God would take this desire away from me, but He really doesn’t like it when I argue with Him. He keeps giving me visions of standing on stage and parts of the message to give. So, prayer. Lots of prayer please. Thanks! I appreciate it! Let me know if there’s something I can pray about for you as well!

Ever given anonymously?

Have you ever been blessed by giving anonymously?

This weekend I had the privilege of being a small part of a fundraiser for a little girl in our church. I grinned ear to ear every time I saw her bright, smiling face at the dinner! Praise God we raised enough to cover her surgery (almost $20,000)!!! I’ll let that sink in :)

In Sunday School class, one of the ladies shared a story about a man who had seen the banners and felt compelled to stop by the church and give money. She showed him the way to the table and when he was asked, he’d only give his first name. He said he didn’t want anyone to know his name. Now this isn’t all that anonymous, because they know what he looks like, but how cool is God that He laid it on this guy’s heart to give? And that he doesn’t care if he “gets credit” for it?

Well, I had the opportunity to give anonymously yesterday. It felt soooo good! There’s a lady in our church who is struggling with many things. She’s been busy helping with the fundraiser and other things — all thinking about and serving others — meanwhile she is the type that will refuse help for herself. So knowing this, I had a gift to give her, but I knew she would refuse to take it from me if I tried to give it to her. I left it in her car. Unsigned. I felt so sneaky :D I grinned ear from ear thinking about her finding it in there and wondering who left it — but (most importantly) not being able to give it back!! {and if you happen to go to my church, and happen to know who I’m talking about — shhhhh! Don’t tell!}

I don’t share this to say “oh look at me — I did this great and wondrous thing!” Quite the opposite! It wasn’t a wondrous thing — it was a small gesture. The main reason I am sharing here is to challenge you to do something this week for someone and be sneaky about it — don’t let them know it’s you who did it! It’s an amazingly good feeling. Trust me. You’ve got to try it!

Ok, I’m off to get some work done today. I hope to be back here blogging a little more regularly than every couple of weeks! I’ve got an awesome idea (inspired by God, confirmed by a few God friends) for this blog. There’s lots of stuff I’ve got inside me that I want to share with you. I think along the way, I’ve been distracted from my purpose for this blog. I’m getting back on track — not to say I might not go off track again, but I’m working my way back to the track :) Oh, if you do give anonymously, let me know in the comments — you don’t have to give details, just let me know you did something and how you felt :) I know God will bless you!!

Happy Spiritual Anniversary to Me and Duck

I am embarrassed and ashamed. I let the better part of today go by without recognizing, remembering that today is my 13th Spiritual Anniversary. I have come a long way since then — through some not so good times and some great times. I just realized how “for granted” I’ve been taking my relationship with God lately. I need my quiet time with Him. I need my prayer life back to what I know it should be. Reading over this post I wrote originally 2 years ago was like reading something a different person wrote. I remember I used to be a good writer. I used to enjoy writing here. Lately I feel I’ve been nothing but pessimistic and a big downer. I’ve let arrogance settle back into my heart thinking I can handle things on my own. I’m going to change my attitude, because by the grace of God, I have so much to be thankful for!

But for now … just a tiny bit of my testimony…

You’re not losing your mind. It’s not my wedding anniversary. Eleven [thirteen] years ago today, Howard and I visited Rose of Sharon looking for a church home and place to get married that following October. I grew up mostly in church. I knew some of the Bible stories everyone talks about. I believed Jesus was God’s son — born of a virgin, died on the cross and rose again. I also believed I could do just fine handling my life on my own. So while I might have died back then and gone to heaven, my life was a mess. I was getting ready to marry. I had told Howard I was saved (believing in Jesus and all I stated before), but when we were visiting churches — each sermon touched me. It’s kinda hard to describe to people who’ve never felt the Holy Spirit moving inside them, but think of it as chills running across your body.

I had wanted to respond — to walk down front — to tell the pastor I wanted to be sure Jesus was in my heart — that I not only wanted to go to heaven when I die, but that I wanted Jesus to help me in my everyday life. But what would Howard think? Would he think I lied to him? Would he still want to marry me? We visited Rose of Sharon during their revival. They had an evangelist, Bailey Smith, preaching there for 4 days. That Sunday morning, we walked into the church and sat down. We heard a tremendously clear sermon on the wheat and the tares (a parable from Matthew 13:24-30).

Did you know that on the outside wheat and tares look exactly the same? You cannot tell the difference from the outside. Only by breaking them open do you see the tares are empty. I knew I was a tare — I could play church with the best of them. I could answer everyone’s questions correctly — yes, I’m saved. Yes, I believe in Jesus. No, I don’t want to go to hell. But inside me, I was empty. I was trying to control everything myself.

During the prayer, I prayed that God would forgive me of my arrogance — that Jesus would come fill the hole inside me and help me get through my days. Every eye closed — every head bowed — the pastor asked for those who’d prayed that prayer to raise their hands. I raised my hand. It no longer mattered what Howard would think. Above all else, I needed to be right with God. The pastor commented, “thank you over here to my left — thank you God for this couple over to my right.” How so very cool I thought — that a couple were getting saved together.

When the pastor finished the prayer, he asked for those who’d raised their hands to come forward — to make it public that we’d prayed that prayer. I stepped out. Howard followed. I asked him where he was going — he said up front — he’d prayed that prayer too. Not knowing my left from the pastor’s right (being the same thing since he was facing us), I hadn’t realized the couple he mentioned — was Howard and I.

Happy Anniversary to you too Howard :)

God so richly blessed us that day and many, many days since then. I truly know if we had not prayed that prayer together, that day, that we would not be married today. God is the only one who can hold a  marriage together. Thank you God so very much for saving both of us, being involved in our everyday lives (when we’d let you), and growing our marriage to be stronger today than it ever has been.

It also did not escape me that this date was my Granny’s birthday. I thought it was appropriate that I was saved on this day. Granny had a Bible in her living room that she read every day. When I would stay the night with her, I’d pick it up and just read part of it. Granny had read the Bible all the way through once or twice. She was very sad when her eye sight went and she couldn’t read it any longer. She passed away 9 [11] years ago at the age of 87 — Can’t wait to see you in heaven Granny :D

Time does not heal all wounds.

Sometimes it rips them open.

If I had blogged on a reliable basis (ha, like I do now – not) 6 years ago, I might have blogged all that went on with this situation. That would not necessarily have been a good thing.

To give you the basics:

  • Duck and I were saved in this church
  • We served in this church
  • We taught Sunday School and Children’s Church
  • We dedicated Doodle in this church
  • We had really good friends in this church

But then, through a series of unfortunate events, I knew I could no longer place myself under the authority figure there. The series of unfortunate events consisted of many arguments, struggles and tears. I was constantly praying asking God if I were right or the other person — not that it truly mattered, but if I was wrong, I wanted God to correct me — I truly wanted to know His will.

God revealed to me that I was understanding scripture correctly, but he also revealed that it was not me who was going to help the other person see the truth. That was a hard pill to swallow. I was calm about it all. Forgiving. Peaceful. That was all from God. We left that church and went on a search to find another where we felt God wanted us to serve.

I thought I was over it all. I’ve even seen the other person occasionally and we’re cordial. Then last week I hooked up with some of our old friends from that church on Facebook. I started looking at various pictures — pictures of kids we taught in Sunday School that are now juniors and seniors in high school. They look so different that some of them I wouldn’t recognize if they walked up to me.

The pain came rushing back. My heart was broken. I was angry again. Angry at the other person. Angry at God. Why did we have to leave the church? Why did we have to miss out on so much of their lives?

Last week was VBS week at the church we’ve been visiting now. I didn’t feel like it, but I went to the adult class. I was sad when I went there to see all the people who have these close relationships (well, most of them are family). I have been missing that sorely and I know it’s going to take a lot of time to develop new relationships with these people. But you know what? I’m working on it. I got to know a few people a little better through VBS, and I hope they got to know a little more about me without thinking I’m totally nuts.

Even though the old wounds were opened up, I still know that God’s will for us was for us to leave that church. I’ve got to believe there’s a reason God brought us to this church to develop new relationships here. I hope and pray that this is where we can stay for awhile. Because picking up and moving your family around to different churches or falling into the routine of not going at all — well, that all sucks. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but God does. And He may not heal them completely, but He uses everything for His purpose.

Bloggy break

So I know I said I was going on a bloggy break, and I did really well last week — working on piles on my desk and even cleaning the den (or at least cleaning stuff and moving it so Duck could clean the carpet). I got a little sidetracked with the whole Facebook and lamenting on lost relationships, but I hope to get back on track this week with cleaning, purging and organizing. I pray that God gives you a wink this week. Something special, encouraging and uplifting. If you’re feeling in a funk like I have, then get off your computer and do just one thing. Pick one thing that you’ve been putting off for awhile. You might just find that it doesn’t take near as long as you’d feared :)

I see hurting people.

Ever have those times when you’ve written a post (or three) in your head and you’re positive you’ve already posted it. Well, that’s kind of how I feel about this one. So if you’ve heard this before, give me a lot of grace. This has a little twist.

As some of you may know, we’ve been visiting some different churches and praying about where God would have us to serve. It has been difficult for a few years now that we have not had a church to serve in — people to get to know — friends to make. We were out riding motorcycles back in September and we came across a country church not too far from our house. We visited once around then.

Fast forward to February and we decided to go back to that church (Berry’s Grove). It amazed us that the preacher remembered our faces, and what area we had told him we live, but couldn’t remember our names. It didn’t amaze us that he didn’t remember our names. We really didn’t expect him to remember us at all given we’d visited one Sunday about 5 months before. We enjoyed his sermons and decided to give Sunday School a try.

Duck and I have gone to the Adult 1 Sunday School class the past 3 weeks. This class is taught by the preacher’s wife, Tonya. The first class was out of the quarterly which to tell you the truth, sometimes I don’t like. When I first became a Christian, I didn’t know a lot of the Bible and I soaked up all the information I could. But the next year when it seemed to be going over the same scripture, I was just ready for more. Tonya made it interesting though, so we went back.

The second week, she decided not to use the quarterly and did an impromtu lesson. Well, I don’t know if impromtu is necessarily the right word since she was doing what God led her to do. She talked about our relationship with God and how if that relationship isn’t right — our relationships with others are not going to be right. It gave me a lot to think about last week as I was trying to make sure I get in my quiet time every day.

Yesterday she talked a lot about the relationships with people around us. How we should care for one another — love one another — lift one another up in prayer. We had a full class — more than I’d seen in there ever — and there were some hurting people. Some shared some very specific prayer requests. Tonya made the point that specific prayer requests not only help those who are being prayed for, but us as well when we see the prayers being answered by our awesome God. She encouraged everyone to share specifics if they felt comfortable and a few did. Mercy, sympathy, PMS, whatever-you-want-to-call-it, I cried along with these requests.

I don’t know these people yet. Everytime we visit a church, I look around and all I see are hurting people. Mainly God puts the hurting women on my heart. It hurts me because I want to help — I want to pray — I want to be friends and let God use me to maybe make their day a little brighter. But that all takes time. Time after you join a church. It’s not going to happen immediately. So even if Berry’s Grove is the church God would have us serve in, it’s going to be awhile before we settle in and get to know people — know what to pray for — know how to encourage.

I see hurting women all over the place. I even see them online. Some of them I see online way too much — but that’s another post I’ve written in my head. Yesterday I felt like God was confirming that He wants me to share my stories. He wants to use me to reach others. He wants my voice out there. That scares me a little because the thought of talking in front of people makes me nervous. But God’s given me some messages I think I’m supposed to give to women — whether here or in person.

Even though I didn’t speak up in the class, I’m going to make my prayer request known here. I know many of you will pray for me and I so desperately need all the help I can get — every.single.day. Pray for us to find the church God would have us serve in. Help us to open ourselves up to the new people we’ll meet — to be able to support and love on them, and for them to do the same to us. Give me patience and wisdom to know when to “jump” in and help and when to just listen or let things slide. Pray for God to confirm in me His call — whether to write, speak, or both.

Thank you for stopping by here today and reading all this. If there’s anything I can pray for you about, leave me a comment or send me an email at lisab (at) lisaboyd (dot) com. I may not get to see you in church on Sundays, but God sees both of us and we can pray for each other.

Whole Woman Day

For those of you in my area, Whole Woman Day is coming back to Providence Baptist Church. This is a great women’s conference and it’s very affordable. For me, it’s within driving distance meaning no hotel and the ticket is only $40 before April 4th. If you are going I would love to know. I would love to meet up with other women there who tweet or blog!

Here’s the website if you want to see what sessions they offer. Mary Kassain is also going to be the main speaker. I’ve seen her books, but don’t think I’ve made it through one.